Bananagrams Rules and Tips n Tricks

Have you played Bananagrams before ? Learn some tips and tricks to play better.

Bananagrams is a fun tile-crossword game played without a board, pencil, or paper. Instead, all you need are the 144 Bananagrams tiles included in the banana-shaped tile bag, and you're good to go.

Players will race to create crosswords using all their tiles and according to the rules below in order to become the Top Banana.

What are the rules?

There are multiple ways to play the Bananagrams, but here we will cover the standard rules of the game.

There are 144 tiles in Bananagrams, which are distributed differently based on the number of players. Unclaimed tiles go into the bunch.

  • 2-4 Players: 21 letters each.
  • 5-6 Players: 15 letters each.
  • 7+ Players: 11 letters each.

Once everyone is ready, the gaming is started by any player saying "split," after which everyone can turn up their tiles and begin building their crossword.

Words in the crossword can be horizontal or vertical and go from either left or right and top to bottom. There are no turns, it's just a race to exhaust all your letters into a crossword first, and you can rearrange words in the crossword as often as you like.

After a player completes their crossword, they must say "peel," after which everyone takes an additional tile.

If a player wants to return a problematic letter to the bunch, they must place it back face-down and take three tiles in return. Players must say "dump" in this process.

When there are fewer remaining tiles in the bunch than the total number of players, the first player to shout "bananas" with no remaining letters is the winner, known as the Top Banana!

Well, after inspection for valid words by the other players, of course. If invalid words are found, that player is known as a Rotten Banana and must return their tiles face-down back into the bunch and is out for that round.

Valuable Tips and Tricks for Bananagrams

Want to become the Top Banana? Here are our best Bananagrams tips, especially for new players!

Play your longest word first

Playing the longest word you can at the beginning has two benefits. First, you will use up lots of letters straight away, and you will have a base of letters from which to build your crossword. Taking more time at the beginning of the game to do this can pay off later, especially when players start calling peels!

Learn your two-letter words

There are tons of two-letter words we don't commonly use in daily conversation. Consider learning these words to get tiles in play quickly. In addition, many of these two-letter words use pesky letters like X, Q, and J.

Don't be a Rotten Banana

Bananagrams isn't a game for guessing; if a word is found to be invalid at the end of a game, you're going to be the Rotten Banana and be out. So be sure each word you play is a legitimate word in the dictionary you're using.

Words fit in all directions

Unlike in Scrabble, words in Bananagrams can be played in any direction, giving you a lot more opportunities to play words. This may take some getting used to for people who regularly play games that only go from left to right and top to bottom, though.

Ditch the dump

Dumping a letter back into the bunch is almost always a bad move. Taking three letters back is a terrible penalty, and your opponents will most likely know you're ditching difficult letters and simply avoid them in the bunch.

Remember, you can practice alone!

While Bananagrams is a competitive game, the gameplay is largely similar to a single-player game. The only difference is another player won't be shouting peel at you. And so, playing alone can be a great way to get some practice in!

Published on 07 Feb 2023
Author: Jordan

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